The quest for ‘The One’ in regards to foundations in a task that has always intrigued me – from high-end to drugstore, matte to dewy, full on to natural coverage, the list of foundations I have sampled is endless. I have always waxed lyrical about the skin perfecting properties of my beloved Guerlain Lingerie De Peau foundation (for a full review click here), which still is, and will always remain my number 1 choice for foundation. However, there is a new foundation in town that is definitely giving it a run for its money – Chanel Mat Lumiére.I have often seen this foundation touted around in the beauty community, although it is sometimes shunned for Chanel’s more popular offerings of their Pro Lumiére formula (too sticky on my skin) and their newer released of the Vitalumiére Aqua (a foundation that I reserve for ‘good skin’ days). But out of all the Chanel foundations I have tried their Mat Lumiére formula is the winner for me, so I thought it was about time to crack out a full review.
First up, the hard facts! At £33 this is definitely a foundation that fits into the ‘sample before you buy’ category – let’s face it, no one wants to throw just over 30 quid down the drain. Express and interest at the Chanel counter, let the MUA colour match you, smile sweetly and they will be sure to hand over a sample. If you do decide to take the plunge, the presentation of the foundation will not disappoint! A heavy, frosted glass bottle, topped off with a sleek black lid, emblazoned with the Chanel logo, the packaging exudes a luxurious feel. OK, so it’s not the most travel-friendly bottle, but it does look bloody gorgeous on your dressing table. It’s also worth noting that the foundation comes with a pump-top which is great for control how much of the product you dispense, but due to the texture of the product this is prone to clogging and a sharp pin has to be jabbed down it every few weeks or else you will squirt foundation all over your sheets and walls (guilty).
The description from the official Chanel site describes Mat Lumiére as “perfect for combinations skin with a tendency to shine, this oil-free formula delivers a soft, natural matte finish with maximum staying power, medium coverage looks impeccable and shine free for up to 12 hours”. Now I am split in my agreement with this statement – yes, for me it delivers a medium coverage with maximum staying power, but I have to disagree with the claim that it stays shine free for up to 12 hours – let me explain…
Firstly, it’s probably a good time to point out that my skintype is pretty normal, with the odd patch of oiliness on my t-zone during the summer months – making me a pretty good candidate for this foundation which is marketed for those with combination skin. The finish for me, on my skin is exactly what it says on the tin – matte, yet luminous. The great things that distinguishes Mat Lumiére from the other foundations on the market promising a matte finish, is that it steers clear from that drying, cakey cliche and actually delivers a natural finish. Although the base is a primarily shine-free zone, Mat Lumiére keeps a slight glow on the highlights of the face, giving it a dimensional finish. This foundation does contain SPF15, which is usually a no-no when using flash photography as the Titanium Dioxide ingredient in SPF’s has the tendency to provide a large amount of flashback – aka ‘White Face Syndrome’, however I am pleased to report that this foundation does not suffer the usual fate of SPF foundations and actually photographs beautifully – both in natural light and with flash!
I can see why this foundation gets mixed reviews. After a quick browse of reviews on MakeupAlley (where it receives a pretty average score of 3.6 out of 5), it is clear to see that people choose to ignore the ‘lumiére’ aspect of this product. If you want a flat, extremely matte base then this is not the foundation for you, give Esteé Lauder Double Wear a go But if you are looking for a more natural matte finish then you have found ‘The One’. Another gripe with this product that people seem to have is with the colour selection – with 12 shades available, it’s not the most extensive. I was lucky to find a pretty good match for my NW25 skintone in the colour Beige (40); but the colours do tend to run a little warm so it’s definitely worth getting colour matched.
Right, so how do I apply it? As with most foundations, I find I get the most easy and quick, yet airbrushed-looking application with my Sigma F80 Flat Top Kabuki brush. The technique I use can be seen in my ‘Foundation Routine‘ video; apply a dot to each cheek, forehead, nose and chin and then lightly blend in with circular motions. I find that about 2 pumps of this gives me the perfect amount of coverage without looking too heavy.
Overall, this is a great choice of foundation for those who are after one that is on the matte side of proceedings, but want a touch of glow to their base. Although Chanel market this to oily skinned ladies, I certainly wouldn’t say to give this a wide birth if your skin is drier – the ‘luminising’ properties of this foundation, make it so flattering and flexible and I could see that this is a foundation that would work for a lot of people.